Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition

Partners - Uganda

The Department of Food Science and Technology (DFST) at Makerere University is Uganda’s leading centre for training and research in Food Science, Food Technology and Human Nutrition. Since 1989, the department has been at the forefront of training professionals for the food sub-sector. Over 500 graduates have passed through the DFST and are now employed by private industries, government departments and institutions, and NGOs while some are successful entrepreneurs. The Department is a major source of researched food value addition technologies and malnutrition alleviation strategies. The thematic research areas include: 1) Improvement of traditional food processing technologies; 2) Food biotechnology; 3) Improving the nutritional status of the population especially vulnerable groups; 3) Improving food safety and quality; 4) Promoting underutilized foods; and 5) Therapeutic foods.

At the moment, the Department is supported by the Government of Uganda to engage researchers in processes to up-scale value-addition to agro-products. Under this initiative, the Department has 15 projects led by individual members of staff with a focus on food product development as a strategy to reduce post-harvest losses in agricultural production and improve livelihoods of farmers.

The department has conducted numerous researches with support from institutions such as Nestle foundation. DFID, NORAD, NUFU, the Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, International Foundation for Science, Thrasher Research Fund, SIDA-SAREC,IFPRI-Harvest plus and from the Government of Uganda. Recently completed and ongoing research include: 1) Developing processes for improving quality of fish, grains and fruits; and 2) Aspects of Quality Assurance, Food Safety and Hygiene.

Key personnel

Prof. John H. Muyonga

Professor John H. Muyonga, holds a Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Pretoria, a M.Sc. from Cornell University and a B.Sc. from Makerere University. He is an expert on protein functionality in food systems, nutritional effects of food processing, post harvest technology of fish, commercialization of scientific and technological innovations and education and food based nutritional interventions. His research interests include post harvest biochemistry of meat, fish and poultry, fish waste utilization, protein functionality, enhancing nutritional properties of food through processing, University-private sector partnerships, nutritional and nutraceutical properties of traditional Ugandan foods and improving the nutritional status through information and education.

Current research projects include the following: (i) Enhancing the contribution of research organizations to the development of SMEs; (2) Income generation among PLWHA in the lake Victoria basin; and (3) Improving nutrition and healthcare of children, mothers and other vulnerable groups in northern Uganda through nutrition and healthcare education. He is also in charge of the Food Technology and Business Incubation Programme.

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